Ant Traits

8.2.4.1.1 Pruning Behavior

Crematogaster (Decacrema) non-wax runners prune neighboring vegetation more intensely than their congeners inhabiting waxy Macaranga hosts [29]. Stronger pruning not only more effectively prevents host plants from being overgrown by climbers, but also provides a better protection against invasions by foreign ants [29,34].

8.2.4.1.2 Aggressiveness

The greater intensity of pruning behavior might reflect a generally higher level of aggressiveness by Crematogaster (Decacrema) non-wax runners [29]. Moreover, ants from the nonwaxy M. trachyphylla were reported to be more aggressive than ants from the waxy M. beccariana [35].

8.2.4.1.3 Colony Density

Data from young Macaranga trees (1.80 to 3.00 m tall) indicated that colonies of non-wax runners have a higher number of workers per twig length [29], which probably result in a greater defensive capability. However, a different pattern was found in mature Macaranga trees [36], suggesting that other factors (e.g., food supply) contribute to interspecific variation of colony density.

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